Washington Post Liberal

May 15, 2012

In case you ever have occasion to wonder, yes, the Washington Post is definitely part of the liberal news media.  Just take it from their own ombudsman (2005-2008), the late Deborah Howell:

I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo.

(Emphasis added.)  She also noted that after Barack Obama became the nominee in 2008, he received three times as much front-page coverage (in terms of number of articles) as John McCain.  In her parting column, she observed, “Too many Post staff members think alike; more diversity of opinion should be welcomed,” and advised, “Make a serious effort to cover political and social conservatives and their issues; the paper tends to shy away from those stories . . . .”

As to the mainstream news media more generally, according to Pew, they have four times as many liberals as conservatives at the national level.  In a 2007 Pew survey of people (journalists, producers, editors, and executives) working in the national news media (print and broadcast), 53% identified as moderate, 32% total as liberal (24% “liberal” + 8% “very liberal”), and only 8% total as conservative (6% “conservative” + 2% “very conservative”).  These results are fairly similar to those of Pew’s similar surveys in 2004 and 1995.  (Source: page 19 (55) of this PDF.)

I suspect that the makeup of the news media is even more skewed than these numbers would indicate.  In their world, liberalism is “middle of the road”.  It is possible that all of those 53% as well (the “moderates”) are significantly left of center.

For contrast, Pew helpfully explains that

Among the population as a whole, 36% call themselves conservatives — more than triple the percentage of national and internet journalists, and more than double the percentage of local journalists. About four-in-ten (39%) characterize their political views as moderate, while 19% are self-described liberals, based on surveys conducted in 2007 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

(Page 20 (19) of this PDF, from this study.)

20 Responses to “Washington Post Liberal”

  1. Snoodickle Says:

    Doesn’t it say something about the state of conservatism when the last two Republican nominees have been moderates? (with the current one actually being a Democrat at one point in his political career.) Even the last two Republican presidents could be considered moderates. Far right conservatism is a dying breed in this country.

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